1 The word that Yirmiyahu the navi spoke unto Baruch the son of Neriah, when he wrote these words in a book at the mouth of Yirmiyahu, in the fourth year of Yehoyakim the son of Yoshiyahu, king of Yehudah, saying:
2 ‘Thus saith Hashem, the God of Yisrael, concerning thee, O Baruch: Thou didst say:
ב כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל עָלֶיךָ בָּרוּךְ.
3 Woe is me now! for Hashem hath added sorrow to my pain; I am weary with my groaning, and I find no rest.
ג אָמַרְתָּ אוֹי נָא לִי כִּי יָסַף יְהוָה יָגוֹן עַל מַכְאֹבִי יָגַעְתִּי בְּאַנְחָתִי וּמְנוּחָה לֹא מָצָאתִי.
4 Thus shalt thou say unto him: Thus saith Hashem: Behold, that which I have built will I break down, and that which I have planted I will pluck up; and this in the whole land.
ד כֹּה תֹּאמַר אֵלָיו כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה הִנֵּה אֲשֶׁר בָּנִיתִי אֲנִי הֹרֵס וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר נָטַעְתִּי אֲנִי נֹתֵשׁ וְאֶת כָּל הָאָרֶץ הִיא.
5 And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not; for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith Hashem; but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest.’
v’-a-TAH t’-va-KESH l’-KHA g’-do-LOT al t’-va-KESH kee hi-n’-NEE may-VEE al kol ba-SAR n’-UM a-do-NAI v’-na-ta-TEE l’-KHA et naf-sh’-KHA l’-sha-LAL al kol ha-m’-ko-MOT a-SHER TAY-lekh sham
ה וְאַתָּה תְּבַקֶּשׁ לְךָ גְדֹלוֹת אַל תְּבַקֵּשׁ כִּי הִנְנִי מֵבִיא רָעָה עַל כָּל בָּשָׂר נְאֻם יְהוָה וְנָתַתִּי לְךָ אֶת נַפְשְׁךָ לְשָׁלָל עַל כָּל הַמְּקֹמוֹת אֲשֶׁר תֵּלֶךְ שָׁם.
45:5 And seekest thou great things for thyself?
In the midst of the calamity, Jeremiah rebukes his closest student, Baruch son of Neriah, for being concerned about his personal welfare at a time of national crisis. Some suggest that as his grandfather was Maaseiah, governor of Jerusalem in Josiah’s reign (2 Chronicles 34:8), Baruch also hoped for high office, only to see his aspirations dissipate. Ancient rabbinic commentary attributes to Baruch a higher motivation. He was hoping, like great students before him such as Joshua and Elisha to receive the gift of prophecy. However, at a time when people are suffering, personal goals, even spiritual ones, must be set aside.